2009 Smith-Madrone Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon
*Cellar Selection* Smith-Madrone tends to fly under the radar for Napa Valley Cabernet, but discerning palates understand its place in the pantheon. Vintages aren’t always kind to this mountain fruit, but in 2009, the conditions were just right to produce a wine of immaculate structure. It has firm tannins and brisk acidity, and the flavors are classic, suggesting blackberries and cassis. As delicious as it is now, this will have no problem aging 10-15 years.
A testament to Smith-Madrone's sweet spot at 1,800 feet above the Napa Valley, facing east, Cabernet Sauvignon is grown here as well as their famous Riesling. Stu Smith is stalwart advocate of dry farming, which he applies to these 37-year-old vines atop Spring Mountain; not so much, of "biodynamic" practices. This Cabernet is the product of some of Napa Valley's true individualists, producing a distinctive product of place, with a studied disregard for the fashions of the moment. From the winery: "Wonderfully complicated and intense aromas of cassis, blueberry and black cherry characterize our 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. The aromatics lead straight into a beautiful demonstration of just how much fun an old-fashioned, low alcohol wine (13.9%) can be. The signature of this wine is the lively and oh-so-flavorful fruit in the middle followed by a crisp juicy finish of unusual length."